In the Press: Nomination Court Process a set back for Women’s Political Participation, Zanu PF launches election campaign,Women candidates Numbers fall.
Women candidates Numbers fall
The current figures show that the number of women participating in the elections is lower than previous years. Specifically, out of 637 candidates, only 70 are female, which translates to just 11%. This is a decline from the 14.4% of female candidates in the 2018 National Assembly elections, where there were 237 out of 1648 candidates.
The gender breakdown of candidates in various regions of Zimbabwe is as follows:
- Bulawayo has 16 female candidates and 41 male candidates
- Harare has 14 female candidates and 96 male candidates
- Matabeleland South has 2 female candidates and 34 male candidates
- Manicaland has 4 female candidates and 67 male candidates
- Mash East has 6 female candidates and 54 male candidates
- Mash West has 8 female candidates and 55 male candidates
- Masvingo has 4 female candidates and 59 male candidates
- Mat North has 8 female candidates and 51 male candidates
- Midlands has 7 female candidates and 71 male candidates.
- Mash Central has 1 female out of 40 contestants
Nomination Court Process: A set back for Women’s Political Participation
Women and Law in Southern Africa in Zimbabwe noted that the nomination fees prescribed by the Electoral (Nomination of Candidates) (Amendment) Regulations, 2022 (No. 1) Statutory Instrument 144 of 2022 were grossly unreasonable, exorbitant and arbitrary to such an extent that they constitute a violation of the political rights protected under section 67 of the Constitution and the right to equality and non-discrimination protected under section 56 of the Constitution.
CASE UPDATE: Urgent court Application in the High Court of Zimbabwe Challenging the SI 114 of 2023 as Illegal and invalid.
The Women's Coalition of Zimbabwe, Women and Law in Southern Africa and Zimbabwe Women's Lawyers Association have filed an urgent court application in the High Court of Zimbabwe challenging the SI 114 of 2023 as illegal and invalid. The Statutory Instrument seeks to 'correct' s268 of the Constitution to the prejudice of women.
The SI 114 of 2023 was issued as a correction by the Law Reviser, effectively altering the way candidates for proportional representation in local authorities would be picked.
In 2021, a Constitutional amendment was made regarding the composition of provincial councils. The amendment specified that each provincial council would be comprised of 10 women. However, more than two years later, the law revisor has deemed this to be a mistake, despite it being an official amendment.
The section, as corrected by the Law Reviser, now says that 10 people must be elected to provincial and metropolitan councils under a system in which the party lists have equal numbers of men and women alternating - ie if the first candidate on the party list is a woman, the next must be a man, and so on.
Zanu PF launches election campaign
The President of Zimbabwe, Emmerson Mnangagwa, has launched his re-election campaign with a focus on revitalising the country's struggling economy. Despite the challenges faced by the nation, including high inflation rates and a rapidly declining currency, Mnangagwa has pledged to prioritise critical areas such as infrastructure development, power generation, and the mining industry.
Mnangagwa invites EU to observe Zimbabwe's 2023 elections
The European Union (EU) has accepted Zimbabwe's invitation to observe the country's elections due August 23 this year.The European Union ambassador to Zimbabwe, Jobst von Kirchmann, stated that the invitation to observe the polls represents a positive display of trust, cooperation, and partnership between the government and the group.
There's still time to resolve nomination disputes
Veritas, a legal think-tank, says there is sufficient time for the courts to address the electoral disputes that have arisen from the recent nomination process where several aspiring candidates complained about being unfairly turned away.
Veritas representative Brian Crozier made the remarks in response to a case where the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) rejected nomination papers of several aspiring candidates among them presidential, parliamentary and council nominees.
WLSA conducts action research in the seven countries of Southern Africa namely Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. The essence of action research is that we inform, advise and take action during the research. In essence, we educate women about their legal rights, providing legal advice, questioning and challenging the law.